The great-granddaughter of Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy joined Irish taoiseach Leo Varadkar to open Ireland’s longest bridge on January 29. Named for the Irish-American matriarch, it’s only the second bridge in Ireland to be named after a woman (the Rosie Hackett Bridge in Dublin was the first).
Rose Katherine Kennedy Townsend is a grandchild of Robert and Ethel Kennedy. At the opening of the bridge, which connects County Wexford with County Kilkenny, she spoke of her family’s ancestral home in Dunganstown, which is located nearby, and their deep connection to Ireland.
She also discussed her plans for her visit. They included meeting Irish relatives and visiting the Dunbrody Famine Ship and the Eternal Flame in New Ross, County Wexford.
The new bridge will significantly reduce the travel time between Cork and Rosslare Harbor, which is a key link to mainland Europe. “It’s about strengthening connectivity between different parts of our country and strengthening the communities themselves,” said Taoiseach Leo Varadkar. The bypass will relieve chronic traffic congestion through New Ross town, with time savings of up to 30 minutes. ♦